GayandRight

My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (www.freethinkingfilms.com)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

From the mailbox...

Here's an e-mail I received from Ireland tonight.
Hi Fred,

I have just come across your interesting blog. I'm following the election campaign in Canada very closely but unlike you I am hoping for a Liberal victory along with stronger NDP representation.

It's clear from your blog that you have strong views regarding gay rights. That's clear from reading your eye opening posts on the outrageous human rights abuses perpetrated against gay people in places such as Jamaica and Iran.

But I can't understand how you can then support a movement and philosophy that has opposition to gay rights as a core part of its agenda. Do you not see the inherent contradiction in this?

I can understand a fellow gay person supporting a libertarian outlook where he/she combines a right wing position on economics with a left view on social issues.

But for me, a gay person supporting a conservative agenda across the board is troubling and a complete mystery.

Your own Conservatives are a prime example. How can you, as an out and proud gay man, support a party whose opening salvo in the election campaign was a promise to "review" the equal marriage law.

Stephen Harper is a homophobe who has shown nothing but contempt for gay people and our rights. As well as opposing marriage equality, he opposed including sexual orientation in hate crime laws, he insulted Svend Robinson with a homophobic slur and in a calculated insult to the LGBT community, he addressed religious groups on the day of Pride and talked about how their values were under threat.

In short this man and his backward party would be a disaster for gay Canada. A Tory victory would also be a huge blow to gays such as myself who are not Canadian but who point to Canada as a model for gay rights and equality in general.

What makes your support for them even more puzzling is that the alternative is hardly a raving socialist outfit determined to destroy freedom as we know it. Come on, the Liberals are a centrist party that tilts left socially and slightly right economically!

I don't mean to belittle your views and I support diversity within our own community. But I cannot understand the mentality of people like the Log Cabin Republicans in the States and other right wing gays who go out of their way to attack progressive politicos who defend our interests while at the same time trying to defend and justify the bigoted, homophobic views and actions of those on the right.

This is just not a credible position to hold.
Here is my reply:

Thank you for your e-mail. You know, I get 3 types of e-mail from my blog. First, I get e-mail from conservatives who are pissed off that I am gay; then I get e-mail from gays who are pissed off that I am a conservative; and then I got lots of e-mail from mostly gay conservatives (and others) who love the blog.

Look, there is no such thing as a liberal gene for gay people. I AM a conservative (small c). I believe in small government, lower taxes, free enterprise, a strong military, support for Israel, a end to preferenes for women in child custody and divorce, an end to political correctness, sensible environmental policies that target real pollution, not CO2, free speech, significant changes to bilingualism, a return to the merit principle in hiring, balanced budgets, a sane policy on aboriginals, etc. Oh, I also believe in complete equality for gays.

If you read through my blog, you'll notice MANY posts that are very critical of the Conservative Party. That being said, I prefer a conservative minority government to that of a Liberal minority government....largely because I want the corrupt liberals out of power...and I want a government that is more conservative.

The plain fact of the matter is that gay marriage is here to stay. First, there will NOT be enough support in Parliament to overturn it. It is clear that the conservatives will NOT get a majority government...and there are more Tories this time around who support same-sex marriage. Here in Ottawa, there are at least 2 Tories who strongly support SSM. And at the last Conservative party conference, 25% of the delegates voted to support same-sex marriage. This is huge progress...and more will come since younger conservatives are overwhelmingly in support of SSM.

Secondly, Stephen Harper has said that he will NOT use the notwithstanding clause to overturn SSM. This seals the deal, in my opinion.

You claim in your e-mal that you don't mean to belittle my views...yet you seem to do exactlly that. You seem to think that all gays have to vote for left-wing parties. Bah, humbug!

15 Comments:

Blogger BC Tory said...

As an 18-year old Conservative supporter, and someone who supported Bill C-38 on same-sex marriage, I can somewhat sympathize with your position. Though heterosexual myself, I am sick and tired of liberal friends asking me why, while I am socially moderate or progressive, support such a "homophobic" or "radical" party, as they put it.

The truth is, no one ever agrees with every issue on a party's platform; or if you do, you're either very lucky or part of the party leader's PR team. And while I, like you, am in favour of a more progressive social policy in the Conservative Party, I still think they have the best vision for Canada; furthermore, I could not ever bring myself to vote for a Liberal Party that is corrupt, contradicts itself and generally does anything to get re-elected or the socialist NDP, who I believe would do great harm to Canada; actually, while I don't support the Tory position on gay marriage, I was glad that, unlike the NDP, they let their MPs vote their conscience.

I am definitely glad there are gays out there who know the facts, that the Conservatives are not homophobic or anything like that. After all, would a homophobic party come one vote short of having a gay man become its party president? I think not. Would a homophobic party run an openly gay candidate in an election (Gary Mitchell, Vancouver Centre, 2004)? I think not. It is refreshing to see a gay who, when it comes to the Conservative Party, knows what he is talking about, as there are many, as you have demonstrated, that do not.

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the letter is really what it say: perplexion at a particular standpoint. Your standpoint, as the case may be. I don't support the party platform in many rgards, yet I support the party on principle. The term you may want to consider is "nonpartisan partisan", representing your objectivity rather than dogmatism.
On that note, a joke from our american neighbours: What did the black gay republican do after the political rally? He beat himself up in a parking lot...

3:48 AM  
Anonymous hmspinafore said...

I am neither gay, nor do I support SSM, although I do support your right to support it. I think a civil option would be best, but then we are allowed to disagree with each other, no? I am a member of the conservative party, and I am glad that you are as well. I find it interesting when those who have faced intolerance become intolerant of those who disagree with them, like the person who wrote you, not you yourself. The best thing about democracy is that we can disagree, be heard, and still be friends, knowing that we have an equal voice and one vote each. I have many gay friends who do not support SSM, but agree with civil options and I don't think that makes them less gay, either. I loved searching your blog. Keep up the great work.

10:25 AM  
Blogger Don said...

Keep up the good work Fred!

I'm in Ottawa-Centre too and think Kieth Fountain's a great representative of the CPC.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

"What did the black gay republican do after the political rally? He beat himself up in a parking lot..."

ROFLMAO. Awesome.

1:44 PM  
Anonymous adam said...

hmspinafore:

I was not being intolerant as you put it, I was exploring how a gay person could support a party that does not support equal rights for gay people. Thats all.

Also you should talk to your "many gay friends" to learn what real intolerance is instead of making a glib remark about it.

I also find it troubling that you could be friends with gay people yet you don't beleive they are entitled to the same happiness in marriage as you - that we should be penalised just because of our sexual orientation.

I don't think I could be friends with someone who thought like that.

I also find it very hard to believe that you know many gays who do not support equal marriage. Of course gay people want and demand equal rights! Anything else defies logic.

7:53 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

As a radical right-wing social Conservative, I would like to point that there are two issues related to SSM, not just one.

The first is that the official Conservative position is to allow a free vote on SSM. As Conservatives we do not believe that our nation's laws should be dictated to us by 9 men/women in robes sitting on the Supreme Court. We Conservatives believe that Canadians are mature enough and adult enough to decide this very difficult issue for ourselves in a democratic vote where the majority rules.

If you understand the first point, you will understand that the issue of SSM comes down to what each individual Conservative MP believes is right/wrong on this issue. There are four CPC MPs that favor SSM. The rest oppose it. There are also many people, like Fred, in the Conservative movement that favor SSM. In Canada's Parliamentary system, we elect those repersentatives that share our views and/or we vote against those that oppose our views.

Do you as a homosexual want to live in a country where the majority are disgusted by SSM, but 9 activist judges say it is a Constitutional right? Or would you prefer to live in a country were the majority of the population are in favor of SSM, but 9 activist judges declare it an abomination?

Far too many SSM advocates side with the 9 judges simply because the 9 judges have taken their side, but the people whose hearts and minds gay activists should be appealing to is those of Canadians.

As a Conservative, Fred is attepmting to convince Canadians of his position in a respectful way, but the vast majority of gays simply demand their position be imposed on the nation.

Calling social Conservatives human rights violators, bigots, homophobes and many other names, is not the best way to convince us that you are right!

10:14 AM  
Anonymous hmspinafore said...

adam:
"to learn what real intolerance is"- isn't that rather glib? You have no idea who I am, what I look like, what I believe, but you think that only gays face REAL intolerance? I find that offensive, really, not to mention intolerant of my point of view.

"you don't beleive they are entitled to the same happiness in marriage"
I do not have an entitlement mentality. I do not believe anyone is entitled to happiness in marriage. It takes hard work and it is a privlege to be married to someone who makes you happy. I am sorry if you have been unable to find someone that makes you happy, but the good news is that marriage will not make you happy. Nor does it have the power in and of itself to make you unhappy. Your choices in life, and the way in which you choose to live your life, on the other hand, will.
I do believe my friends, both gay and straight, are able to make good choices that will result in their happiness, but I don't believe they are entitled to happiness, but neither am I.
With the civil option, you are not penalized, you just don't change the definition of a word. In Canada, common-law and civilly united couples have all of the same rights as those who are married in a church, so let's not confuse the issue with a bunch of emotional harranguing.
If my gay friends defy your logic, should you be called homophobic? I hope not. I'm sorry to have lost your friendship, but I am glad that I have the friendship of those who understand the difference between rights and privleges.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Mugs said...

Interesting post I'll be honest , I'm for civil unions , as far as someone being gay , colored , or what have you I have the most respect for those that never demand before earning what they deem they should recieve , and respect naturally follows.

10:32 PM  
Blogger Ottawa Core said...

michael has it right. the issue is, for gay people, reducing the injustice our society has for the "lifestyle". it's not there yet and if further "rights" of equality were imposed by law upon the population that wouldn't improve the underlying issue. fred, as a politically active gay man and gay advocates (litigious lawyers) are leading the way for an evolutionary development for our society. fred said it himself about the improvement in many members within the party coming to see a different way of approaching the issue. steering our country into acceptance because a law is enacted by a corrupt government replete with bagmen from every level of society's criminal kind is not accepted. if it will be then let the issue be resolved by the conscience of each representative we send to parliament. why be shocked. i don't accept anything from the previous 12 years of liberal corruption. do you choose where you will be representing the good of the people and then do your dirty dealings on the side? or is everything you do corrupt. i submit, as a starting point, that any and everything they have done as a government has been complete garbage.

11:31 PM  
Blogger Joshua Estrin said...

Just discovered this Blog BRAVO...

Here are a few thoughts and to say that this was published as an Op ED in many mainstream and gay papers not including FL the state in which the trauma/dram is all about...

OH WHERE, OH WHERE CAN MY GAY DOLLARS GO?

While I wish it was not necessary to preface this discussion with the phrase “As a gay man…..,” I am a realist and know that for some it is and will be important to know I am not only a supporter of the LGBT community, but I am part of the LBGT community and proud to be gay.

While my sexual orientation is an important piece of who I am, it does not define me. Nevertheless, I feel compelled to share my thoughts and concerns regarding my gay philanthropic experience as I trust I am not the only one asking the question… “Oh where, oh where should my gay dollars go?”

For some, this may appear to be a silly question with so many suffering in the LGBT community from a host of challenges. While we are often perceived in a flurry of sweeping generalizations as ALL being affluent, successful and simply a prime target for Philanthropic America, that is simply not the case as many of our brothers and sisters are in need of our support and assistance.

FACT: We have long encouraged the non LGBT community, especially corporate America, to give back to us as we are a market segment and economic force that deserves to be addressed.

My dilemma and my frustration as a gay man (there’s that phrase again) professional and author is although I have had been blessed with the ability to offer financial security for my immediate family as well as a strong philanthropic desire to work to encourage self-sufficiency and a sense of independence for those in need, I can’t seem to spend my charitable dollars in OUR community.

The solution would appear to be simple - write a check to a LGBT organization. Not so simple. As an author and personality of sorts, I am outspoken, controversial and don’t play the “game” of some of the sub cultures or “cliques” within our community. The result…NO ROOM AT THE INN!

I cannot tell you how shocked and frustrated I was recently when my “GAY DOLLARS” were turned away from several LGBT organizations simply because a chosen few do not always like the fact that I “call it as I see it” in my life, in my work and in my books.

So, as many attack the “straight community” for not doing enough to help “us” and as we rant and rave and wave our rainbow flags in the name of advocacy and equality, we also ignore each other, we gossip, snipe, stab each other in the back. As a result, my “gay dollars” sit dormant as people continue to suffer.

In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy told her trusted Toto “there’s is no place like home.” Well ladies and gentleman, my home – the members of our LGBT Community, need to take a good hard look at who we really are and stop feeding on ourselves like parasites.

We talk about being a family and as a Licensed Psychotherapist I see many families who struggle to communicate and support each other. But my LGBT family has left me deeply disappointed as we are truly not a family at all. It is high time we admitted we simply are an express train to ultimate turmoil with the final stop being “Dysfunction Junction.”

They do not call me the Anti Expert, Anti Dr. Phil and Anti Christ for nothing so bring on those fiery darts, opinions and thoughts, but before you do, call your local LGBT charity and ask them how many cents on the dollar go to the people they claim to serve, what checks and balances are in place to make sure things are being run correctly and if the Board of Directors meets, how many of them are actually awake at during their meetings.

Until this challenge is resolved, I will give of my time to the LGBT community, but not of “GAY DOLLARS.” In fact, I have created a special account in which my “GAY DOLLARS” will remain until I find a LGBT organization that is willing to approach me and be completely transparent.

About Joshua M. Estrin

Joshua M. Estrin, holds a dual Masters Degree from Columbia University and is President and CEO of a nationally recognized marketing and business development firm, which focuses on the growth and development of companies in both the profit and non profit sectors. His latest book Shut Up! and Listen to Yourself is a national bestseller and he has been Executive Director for several high profile charitable organizations both in the LGBT and non LGBT community

www.shutupandlistentoyourself.com

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Adam said...

Michael:

It’s not just the Judiciary that supports equal marriage. So do the government, most of the opposition parties and a MAJORITY of Canadians themselves. The debate has taken place on SSM, and guess what; the enlightened and progressive point of view prevailed!

That may be a bit inconvenient from the point of view of radical right-wing social conservatives but there you go.

hmspinafore:

You talk a whole lot of nonsense about not believing in an entitlement society. Following this logic then, explain to me why you think it is OK for straights to have an entitlement to marriage but for gays it is some kind of privilege?? A gross double standard me thinks!

As for your many gay friends, regardless of who gays support politically, I have yet to meet a fellow gay person opposed to equal marriage. So I simply do not believe you when you say this.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As another 18-year-old who's in the same boat, I can sympathize with bc_tory. I researched the parties available in my riding and have made my choice about which to vote for based on which party is most in alignment with the majority of my beliefs. In my riding, the options were Conservative, Liberal, NDP or Green party. The Liberals have proven themselves to be so corrupt and dishonest that I would literally burn my ballot before voting for them at this point. The NDP have a bad track record of irresponsible spending and too much emphasis on supporting the party as opposed to representing the constituents. As far as the Green party goes, much of the "science" of global warming has been disproven, they seem to have no stance on any issue not related to the environment, and they're also showing signs of deceit. Although I don't agree with the Conservatives on every issue, they were the best choice for me for this election.

My opinion on the issue of same sex marriage is centered on the fact that there's a big difference between religious marriage and legal marriage that many Canadians don't seem to see. What's the problem with allowing legal marriage while allowing those religious institutions who object to same sex marriage to not perform the ceremonies? Given time, those organizations will grow to accept it, no matter how wrong they percieve it to be now. To illustrate this point, most people don't see the problem with having their children in the same school as children of different races today. A century ago, such an idea wouldn't even have been considered.

I can definitely understand those who say they don't want to be descriminated against by those religious organizations who disagree with homosexuality. That said, is it not oppression and descrimination of at least the same degree to force those organizations into compliance with a law they don't believe in so people can participate in a ceremony that's not even legally necessary? When you consider the fact that, once it's been around awhile, those organizations will probably come around on their own as it becomes clear that same sex marriage is not the harbringer of doom, it seems foolish to even try to force them into it.

I find that I tend to make myself no friends for having this opinion. Many people I know who support same sex marriage are angered with me for "defending homophobic morons," as they put it, and those who don't support it disagree with me for other, more obvious reasons.

Personally, I find the idea that in order to recognize and support one group's rights, you must oppress another group is both very foolish and very dangerous.

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a 41yo gay Tory I totally agree with what "bc tory"
said about how his friends reacted when he told them he was a Conservative. My partner of 15years supports the fact I vote Tory and says as long as I have the backbone to back myself up then why should I not vote how I want. I say to him, and anyone else, that gay marriage is not the only issue at stake here - I support gay marriage totally - but my big issue is corruption and the Liberal idea that they are "entitled" to be the government of Canada.

It looks like the Tories may have a strong minority or even a majority come 23January. IMHO Paul Martin is quite possibly the worst Liberal PM EVER!

I live in the riding of Vancouver Centre and am keeping a close look at the polls and will vote Tory if he stands a chance but I would also vote strategically to ensure the Liberals get defeated - even if it does mean voting NDP, a party that will NEVER form a government in Ottawa.

12:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Fred, this has been an interesting read, if only to see how someone can pull the wool over their own eyes. You describe yourself as a small c conservative and state that the entire issue of SSM is safe because there's not enough support in the House to overturn it. How true! But that's only because the conservatives are held back to a minority position. I can only imagine that your worst nightmare would be to see Stephen Harper form a majority government because then the gloves would surely come off at that point. SSM would be re-examined yet again (surprise!) and this time our protections would surely vanish. After all, only 4 conservatives in the current parliament supported SSM. There might have been others but they felt they had to cross the floor.

So please continue to support the conservatives but also advise at least a few of your friends to support the Liberals otherwise you might not get those magic minority numbers again.

p.s. Since when did conservatives have a monopoly on support for Israel?

8:31 PM  

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